A wide range of Stirling-based and national organisations, along with community groups have backed the bid on Stirling2025.com since the site officially launched last month.
Of the eight places on the UK Government’s longlist for the 2025 title, Stirling is the only successful Scottish applicant and the country is getting behind its bid, with the winner set to be declared in spring.
Cllr Chris Kane, Stirling Council Depute Leader and a member of the City of Culture Bid Steering Group, said: “The fantastic support Stirling’s bid has already received from businesses, individuals and communities gives us renewed impetus on this exciting journey.
“Securing UK City of Culture status is proven to attract substantial investment so a successful bid from Stirling would provide a major economic boost, not just for local area but the whole of Scotland as we recover from the pandemic.
“This will also help us achieve our ambition of putting culture at the heart of Stirling’s regeneration and growth, harnessing the creative spirit and dynamism that flows through our communities.
“A huge thanks to everyone who has signed up so far on Stirling2025.com. Please continue to spread the word far and wide about this fantastic opportunity for Stirling and Scotland.”
Kevin Moore, Director of the historic Stirling Arcade, who has operated and developed a number of businesses in Stirling for over 40 years, echoed that call.
He said: “The prospect of Stirling being awarded UK City of Culture 2025 is hugely exciting and offers major opportunities for businesses. We are proud to back Stirling’s bid.
“Stirling is a thriving city, where rich history and heritage meets world-class research, innovation and creativity – but there is so much more we can do.
“Securing UK City of Culture will promote Stirling and all it has to offer to an even wider audience, delivering significant benefits to the businesses and people of this area and across Scotland as we recover from the pandemic.
“We need the support of more businesses, organisations and individuals to help us make this a success for Stirling and Scotland, so please sign up.”
Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to support Stirling’s bid for UK City of Culture status. Securing this status would be a major boost for local businesses and the economy as well as more widely across Scotland.
“With Stirling the sole Scottish bid in the running, it is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the region’s reputation as one of the most entrepreneurial areas in Scotland. With strengths in innovation and research, financial services and digital technology for sport, Stirling is a city of the future.
“20 years after securing city status, this would be a welcome additional string to Stirling’s bow, and we would urge businesses across the country to back the bid.”
Stirling’s City of Culture bid is being led by Stirling Cultural Board in conjunction with Scene Stirling, a place partnership involving Stirling’s arts, education, heritage and cultural organisations (Artlink Central, Macrobert, The Engine Shed, Creative Stirling, Stirling University, Big Noise, Stirling Smith, Forth Valley College Creative Industries, Go Forth – Business Improvement District and Stirling Council).
In October, Stirling was announced as the sole Scottish bid to make the longlist for UK City of Culture 2025.
Following a record 20 expressions of interest, the Stirling area is now competing with seven other cities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the next stage of the process.
The winner will be announced in spring 2022 and will follow Coventry’s tenure as UK City of Culture 2021 to take the lead on culture in the UK in 2025.
For more information on Stirling’s bid, head to: www.stirling2025.com.
Picture shows Stirling-based businesses backing Stirling’s bid for UK City of Culture. Pictured (from left) in Stirling city centre are Amanda McLuskey Design and Concept Partner at Brooklyn Kitchens; Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Scott Farmer; Nicky O’Neill, Owner of Oscar’s Wine Bar; Barry McDonald, Head of Codebase, Stirling.